Get Tested Or Get Out: School Forces Pregnancy Tests on Girls, Kicks out Students Who Refuse or are Pregnant

In a Louisiana public school, female students who are suspected of being pregnant are told that they must take a pregnancy test. Under school policy, those who are pregnant or refuse to take the test are kicked out and forced to undergo home schooling.

Welcome to Delhi Charter School, in Delhi, Louisiana, a school of 600 students that does not believe its female students have a right to education free from discrimination. According to its Student Pregnancy Policy, the school has a right to not only force testing upon girls, but to send them to a physician of the school administration’s choice. A positive test result, or failure to take the test at all, means administrators can forbid a girl from taking classes and force her to pursue a course of home study if she wishes to continue her education with the school.

This is in blatant violation of federal law and the U.S. Constitution.

Today, the ACLU of Louisiana and the ACLU Women’s Rights Project asked Delhi Charter School to immediately suspend this discriminatory and illegal policy.

The policy’s complete disregard for Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the federal law that prohibits sex discrimination in federally funded education programs and activities, is astonishing. Title IX and its regulations explicitly mandate that schools cannot exclude any student from an education program or activity, “including any class or extracurricular activity, on the basis of such student’s pregnancy, childbirth, false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy or recovery therefrom.”

Besides violating Title IX, the policy is also in violation of the Constitution’s due process right to procreate, and equal protection: it treats female students differently from male students and relies on archaic stereotypes linked to sex and pregnancy.

Approximately 70 percent of teen girls who give birth leave school, due in part to illegal discrimination. Schools should be supporting pregnant and parenting teens that face numerous barriers to completing their education, not illegally excluding them from school. The ACLU’s Women’s Rights Project protects the rights of pregnant and parenting teens through advocacy, education, and litigation, working to combat the push-out of pregnant and parenting teens from school.

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Anonymous

What will come next is, Hey boys we might as well rape 'em, they won't tell cause that will get them kicked out. WHAT!!!

Anonymous

As I keep saying with a lot of issues surrounding pregnancy, I don't really feel its a feminism issue. It treats females differently, yes, but if a male could get pregnant I'm sure they would be subject to the same terrible rules. That's purely opinion though. Just semantics.

That being said, this story is absolutely enraging. I'll stay away from vulgarity in this comment but no words can portray my anger at the people responsible for such a terrible policy. It is absolutely disgusting. The person who came up with this should simply be fired, no question about it. Of course, this is Louisiana, so that will not happen...

Carola

The south is a great place if you're male, white, christian and rich.

Anonymous

I live in Louisiana. I was told that Pineville High School in Pineville, LA has a similar policy of forcing girls to take a pregnancy test and/or leaving the school.

Anonymous

This is a charter school, not a public school. There are public school options available for those that cannot follow the school's rules.

Anonymous

@ comment #5: Um, yeah, it's real.
http://www.cnn.com/2012/08/07/us/louisiana-pregnant-school/index.html

Anonymous

The school is right. Teen pregnancy is not a healthy for mom, dad or baby.
Mom is certainly responsible for her own pregnancy. The dad may or may not be a school student, he may not be a willing a dad, she may not know which man is the dad, she not want to identify him, she may identify the wrong man unintentionally or otherwise.

This is a good start. The school should be commended for taking a strong guiding stance and backing it up with disciplinary action.

Anonymous

Spay or Nuder your kids folks and this type of thing wouldn't happen.

Anonymous

Unlike direct-run public schools, the board meetings and decision making of privately-operated charter schools in Louisiana often happens behind closed doors. There is not a lot of oversight from the state board of education on internal policies not directly related to teaching and curriculum. On a positive note, I emailed this article to the entire state school board and Lottie Beebe, one of the board members, emailed me back in a few hours thanking me for emailing my concerns to the board and vowing to take action on this issue.

Many charter schools think they can get away with private-school type policies because of this lack of direct oversight. Thank you, ACLU, for bringing this grave issue to everyone's attention.

Anonymous

Psh. Good. Little whores.

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